Obstacles to Self-Promotion Discovered in the Ladies' Bathroom

by Juliana Dixon, Social Media & Marketing

Last month, I had a moment in the ladies’ bathroom where my negative mindset kept me from promoting my business and making a sale. I have an Etsy shop where I sell crocheted jewelry and accessories. It’s not a big money maker, probably for reasons that will become obvious, but I started it to try and fund more crocheting! I was in the line for the ladies’ room with my daughter at a local Mexican restaurant, wearing a one of my crocheted pieces. A woman I didn’t know started asking me about my necklace. I finally told her I was the one who made it just as I reached the bathroom stall and closed the door. She was still in the the line and kept going on about how much she liked it even with the door closed between us! I never mentioned to her that I sell the very same necklace in my Etsy shop or that I even have an Etsy shop. As I replay the incident in my mind, it’s almost like a slow motion car accident. I knew I was avoiding promoting myself but I couldn’t stop! Because I’ve attended an ExtraBold workshop, I know better! What went wrong here? I have a few ideas-

I was unprepared. In my mind I told myself, “Don’t mention the shop. You don’t have a business card to give her and nothing to write the name down. If you tell her, she’ll just forget the name.” I know I have the tendency to avoid self-promotion. Being more prepared would have helped me move that obstacle. In reality, it made for awkward conversation because the conversation was naturally going toward self-promotion and I dropped the ball! If I’m not going to carry business cards, I should be ready to talk about my business anywhere. Even in the ladies’ room. I shouldn’t have listened to the voice in my head.

I assumed too much about the lady in line. In retrospect, I underestimated her interest and her ability to remember the shop name. The truth is, I didn’t know this lady! She may have had an impeccable memory. She may have even had a pen and a scrap of paper when I didn’t. Any person who continues to talk about your product with you, especially after you’ve closed yourself a bathroom stall, is interested in your product. Instead of realizing that, I chalked the whole conversation up to her just being polite just to avoid my having to self-promote.

I set a poor example for my daughter standing there with me. My daughter is an artist. At 15, she already has trouble accepting compliments for and talking about her work, like many people do. I should have stopped the excuses in my mind and just spoken up, if not for me, then for her. And I had thought that in my head at the time but I ignored that wise voice and instead kept my mouth closed. We did have a good conversation about it afterwards but it would have had more impact in the moment had I spoken up for myself.

The root issue here is my mindset. Devaluing what I do, I chose to listen to a voice of fear and negativity rather than one of wisdom and truth. Thanks to my attending an ExtraBold workshop, I recognize these things and I’m working on hushing that negative voice. If you see yourself in this story, I hope you’re encouraged to do the same so none of us have to miss out on a sale again!